Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts On President Aquino’s Inaugural Speech

A. On Corruption
“During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters — it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration.
This solidly illustrates the commitment of President Aquino to restore decency in the government service. His declaration that “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor” is the defining principle of his administration: the bedrock of his government.

“I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy.”
This tells us that the President has solid faith on the uprightness of the majority of people serving government. I would like to agree with him. I think that 55-60% of public servants are still upright. These public servants are guided by the highest moral standards.

B. Socioeconomic and Political Status

President Aquino believes that with good governance in the upcoming years, the country’s problems will decrease.

I can only hope that his dream is supported by the Filipino people whose propensity for ningas cogon is known far and wide. The new administration ushers in new hope; Filipinos responded positively. However, with the slightest judgment error in his first two years as President, I wonder if the citizenry will not return to being passive, critical, and uninvolved.

We have to hand it to the President though. He accepts the “marching orders of the citizenry to transform the government from being self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation”. He accepts the mandate of instituting change. For me, that is courage. He is a brave heart.

He assures the citizenry that his administration will champion the cause of our impoverished countrymen. In effect, he is telling us that he considers social justice very seriously.

He will address the shortage of classrooms and educational facilities; improve infrastructures for transportation; enhance tourism and trade.

He will revive an emergency employment program that was once established by his deceased mother, former President Corazon Aquino. I hope that this program will suit the needs of the present times.

He promised to strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs.

He emphasized the following points:
  • Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood;
  • Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years;
  • A home for every family, within safe communities.
Moreover, he will strengthen the armed forces and the police.

He will work on ensuring the security of farmers by helping them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices.

On our business environment, he says government will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people.

He said his goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, he ordered the DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.

On feedback mechanism, he assured the Filipino people that he will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. Government will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

He called on civic virtue by encouraging everyone to relive the spirit of people power during the campaign. He said those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own.

C. Ethical Practices

The President hit the nail right on the head by highlighting the fact that the first step towards good governance is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. Towards this end, he said, “I will set the example. I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government.”

Indeed, leaders must lead by example. "Walk the talk."

He starts the sweeping and cleaning process by reviewing the midnight appointments. He warned that those who intend to continue the crooked ways that become the norm for too long will be punished.

He also zeroed in on the following unethical practices: junkets, senseless spending, turning back on pledges made during the campaign, influence-peddling, patronage politics, stealing, sirens on the road, short cuts and bribes.

D. Building a cohesive democratic society in the Philippines

“The people wield power in this country.” Isn’t this the true essence of democracy?

He explains that he will wield the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance in order to attain a better life for all. He added that with proper governance, life will improve. “When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression?

If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally”, says President Aquino.

On the crucial issue of the peace talks between the government and the MILF, he assured that “his government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all — may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.”

The President speaks

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